Crystal Palace defender Ward: New signings raising bar here

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Crystal Palace defender Joel Ward says squad depth is driving the players to higher levels.

The Palace defender was the only senior right-back at Selhurst Park last season, but has now been joined by former England international Nathaniel Clyne and youngster Nathan Ferguson, who arrived as very highly rated from West Brom.

"I think any time there is competition for places it only raises the bar," said Ward. "As a player you've got to perform but there is enough experience in the squad in every position that you are always trying to make sure you are at the top of your game.

"You compete for places, compete for that and you've got to trust in the hours you put in on the training pitch, when no one is watching that go on and put you in good stead.

"It is only healthy that there is competition for places and it only drives people more."